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Southend United manager Paul Sturrock: This is a chance for us to get back on track
IT’S a change of competition for us this weekend as we face Stockport County in the FA Cup but it’s still a very important game for us and we want to do well.
If I’m being honest I would prefer us to be playing in the league because we need to get our form back and move up the table.
But this is a chance for us to improve our results at home and get ourselves back on track after what I consider to be a disappointing three or four games.
Stockport will be a tough nut to crack though because they’ve scored eight goals in their last two games and we certainly can’t afford to give them too many opportunities in front of goal.
They’re on a good run of form and have a good manager too so we will have to be at our best if we are not to get bitten on the bum.
However, we’ve had a good week in training and I’m confident we can go out there and get the goals we need to win the game.
We have a few players coming back from injury too and that’s great to see.
Luke Prosser and Ryan Leonard have returned from the problems they had and so has Mark Phillips.
Saturday might still be too early for Mark to start but we will have to wait and see how he responds to being back in training and it’s a similar story with Michael Timlin.
He has missed our previous two games with the ankle problem he picked up against Morecambe and, after the first scan he had, we were quite concerned he was going to be missing for a little while.
At one point we feared he was going to be out for six to eight weeks but thankfully he should be back in training today.
I’m not sure if tomorrow’s game will come too soon for him or not but it’s very good news he will soon be back in action because I think the matches without him have proved how important he is to our team.
Since my last column I’ve been able to bring in Marc Laird on loan from Leyton Orient and I’m very pleased to have signed him.
I think he will prove to be a quality player and will definitely do a good job for us.
He can play again tomorrow but Britt Assombalonga has been denied permission to play from Watford and I will have to think about who is best to put in attack.
Freddy Eastwood is doubtful as well but we have Barry Corr, Jonson Clarke-Harris and Elliot Benyon all waiting for an opportunity, as well as Gavin Tomlin so I will have to decide who I think is best to play.
We’re certainly taking the competition very seriously and it would be fantastic to have a good cup run this year.
We’ve done OK in the JPT so far and it would be nice to do the same in the FA Cup, especially with the money you can win from it.
I’m sure our fans will be thinking the same and I’d like to thank them for the support they have given the side in the last few games.
Against York on Saturday I thought they were fantastic and we were all very appreciate of the noise they were making, especially in the North Bank.
I’ve always asked for fans to show their frustrations at half-time and full-time and that is what happened last week.
There is always going to be one or two disgruntled voices but they got drowned out more when the crowd are louder and I hope the fans will be our 12th man again against Stockport.